History resources

Resources about Chesterfield and district’s history can be downloaded from this page or via links from this page.

We are slowly publishing our ‘History Papers’ series on this website, along with back copies of our Cestrefeld Journal. To access downloadable copies see our publications page here.

We’re making back copies of our Cestrefeld Journal available via our publications page. The journals carry a range of items relating to Chesterfield and district’s past.

Don’t forget to have a look at our current and past newsletters, which contain historical articles on a wide variety of subjects, our chronology of Chesterfield’s history and our gallery pages.

There are links to some other useful websites towards the bottom of this page.

Chesterfield town trails

We have two history trails available for free download, including this – our most recent publication.

We’ve two trails of Chesterfield town centre available to download, for free. Both were written by our Vice-Chairman Janet Murphy.

Published in March 2023 is our ‘Explore Chesterfield’. This town centre trail should take about 40 minutes to walk. Commencing and ending at the town’s Visitor Information Centre, it take in a number of local historical buildings.

‘Chesterfield’s black and white buildings‘ looks specifically at the town’s ‘Tudor revival’ properties. It explains a brief history of why Chesterfield adopted this style in the 1920s and 1930s and has a trail around the town centre looking at some of them in more detail.

Miscellany of history articles (April 2016 newsletter ‘insert’)

An insert to our April 2016 newsletter containing articles on:

  • Childhood Memories of Spital by Mrs E Richards
  • Looking Back by Walter R. Allen (memories of the Chester Street area)
  • The Chesterfield Rat catcher – By Sandra Struggles
  • The Zig Zag Railway by L Garlic (first published 1993)
  • One last trip on the Ashover Light Railway – by Geoff Marsden
  • Chesterfield Railway Station – by Les Garlic

History Bites

The ‘History Bites’ below are a series of contributed short articles on a variety of subjects. Click on the download button next to each title to download a pdf.

Chesterfield railway days in the 1940s and 1950s – David McPhie

Our Chairman, David McPhie remembers his Chesterfield trainspotting days in the 1940s and 1950s. These were generally ‘either from one of the three stations (usually the Midland – the only one of three stations in or near Chesterfield town centre still open) or on the ‘Forty steps’ footbridge on Lordsmill Street’. (This ‘History Bite’ has also been published as a post on our website).

A short introduction to the Avenue Carbonisation Plant, Wingerworth

Our July 2022 meeting heard about how the Avenue Carbonisation and Chemical Plant, Wingerworth, was decontaminated in the 2000s. As a background this history bite (first published as a post on our website) briefly looks at the opening of the works in the 1950s, through to closure and decontamination.

How the CADLHS logo was developed

This short note was originally published as a blog in April 2022. It tells the story of how our society logo came into being.

General trades in the Chesterfield district – David Howes

This overview of trades in the Chesterfield area was David Howes’ contribution to an exhibition held in 1998.  It originally appeared in the CADLHS Newsletter, December 1998.

Extract from John Pendleton’s ‘History of Derbyshire’ (1886)

John Pendleton’s ‘History of Derbyshire’, published in 1886, is a largely forgotten work. He is more well-known for his ‘Old and new Chesterfield’ published in 1882 (under a pseudonym ‘Tatler’) and for ‘Modern Chesterfield: its history, legends and progress’ which he co-authored with William Jacques. In truth the extract here has to be treated with some caution, particularly the early history.

Cavendish Stamps and Model Supplies – then and now – Wendy Pockson

A quick look at the former premises of Cavendish Stamps and Model Supplies,75 Saltergate.

The Clarke families of Chesterfield

A short article giving some details of a probate inventory of Godfrey Clarke of Somersall , 1670. It gives a fascinating insight into the comfort in which a member of the seventeenth century lived.

Lychgates – Les Garlic

The late Les Garlic was a great supporter of our local history group and a accomplished amateur local historian. He had many contributions published in our history papers and newsletters. Typical of his wide interests this is a very short article he contributed on Lych-gates.

The Greenhough Medallion – Janet Murphy

Mr A Greenhough was the Headmaster of William Rhodes Senior School from when it opened in 1931 until 1938 when he became the Deputy Borough Education Officer, before becoming Borough Education Officer in 1942. In 1952 he instigated the award of the Greenhough Medallion. Read more about this on our History Bite.

Johnsons’ ironmongers shop on Chatsworth Road – a short appreciation.

A brief history of hospital services in Chesterfield from 1197-1920 – Les Garlic

Another of late Les Garlic’s notes. This one covers the hospital in Chesterfield up to the 1920s.

Hasland – Les Garlick

Les Garlick originally labelled this short paper ‘part 1’ so must have intended there to be a series. Unfortunately, we haven’t found any more to add to this collection.

A First World War Chesterfield send-off

Chesterfield’s send-off for its troops as reported in the ‘Derbyshire Times’, Saturday 15 August 1914.

Killed on the same day – 1: the sad fate of two brothers killed at the Somme

A story of just two of the many men killed at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. But these two were brothers – Adrian and Richard Verner – were killed on the same day.

Killed on the same day – 2: the sad fate of the two Goddard brothers in the First World War

The sad story of two other brothers killed on the same day in the First World War.

“PRESS ON, LADS!” The heroic story of Lt Harry Young, Chesterfield’s last fallen warrior in the Great War – Paul Allonby

This is the sad story of Sub-Lt Harry Young from New Whittington who was the last casualty from the Chesterfield area in the First World War. He was killed in action on November 10th 1918 near Mons. It is part of a feature for the ‘Royal Navy News’ which will be published in November 2022, but it has been amended to focus on Harry.

Stone for the Houses of Parliament – Christine Richardson

Christine Richardson contributes this story of how stone from North Anston came to be used in the Houses of Parliament and how it got there.

History Links

Take a look at the following sites for more information on our area’s history.

The Dog Kennels

The story of this once notorious area of Chesterfield is told in Peter Maycock’s website – http://www.thedogkennels.co.uk/

Peter’s video of the area is also available to view on our website.

Horns Bridge

This much changed and fascinating area’s story is told on this website by Peter Maycock and Les Elson.

Mayors of Chesterfield

Do you want to know who has been a mayor of Chesterfield and when? Look no further than this official Chesterfield Borough Council website listing all known mayors.

Historic England logo with link to home page

Listed buildings

Access the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) for a searchable list of all nationally protected historic buildings and sites in England (including Chesterfield and district). The list gives a brief overview of each site’s history along with an architectural description.

Chesterfield and District Local History Society cannot be held responsible for the content of the above websites.

Page last updated 15 July 2023.